Tag Archives: Lunar New Year

Year of the Pig at Oakland Museum and in SF!

Lunar New Year Sunday, February 10, 12–4 pm

OMCA will ring in the Year of the Pig with our 18th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration. Join us for a daylong festival celebrating the diverse Asian cultures represented in California with live music and dance performances, hands-on activities, and much more.

Easy to get to on BART, only one block away from 10th Street–Lake Merritt BART.

Lunar New Year – February 5 – marks the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar and is the biggest annual event celebrated by many Asian cultures including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean. 

Most of the top traditions of Chinese New Year observed during the 15-day holiday serve one purpose: to usher in a year of good fortune and prosperity.

The ancient Chinese lunar calendar, on which Chinese New Year is based, functioned as a religious, dynastic and social guide. Oracle bones inscribed with astronomical records indicate that the calendar existed as early as 14th century B.C., when the Shang Dynasty was ruling.

IN SAN FRANCISCO:  The 2019 Chinese New Year Parade is on Saturday, February 23. It starts at 5:15 pm at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets in San Francisco, and is one of the largest in the world. There will be lots of fun events for the lunar new year in both February and March. There are hundreds of lively parade entries! The parade includes several floats, the largest and most popular of which is the 28-foot-long Golden Dragon. It takes a team of more than 100 people to operate and move it through the streets of San Francisco. It then weaves its way through Chinatown and ends at Jackson and Kearny Streets. The parade usually ends around 8pm.

Get there early, take BART to the Montgomery station.

Oakland Museum of California.1000 Oak Street @ 10th Street–Lake Merritt BART

Lion Dance… at work

Understanding other cultures is a big deal. When we are part of a diverse group, when work with our customers better. We understand more; hopefully we develop empathy and perspective. Practicing Diversity is a core value of ours. It is also a requirement for many employers all over the world. For me, the best way to learn is to ….DOI!

We will have a fellow team member teach us how to be a Lion and we may participate in a Lion Dance. This is happening on January 26 and February 10. On February 11, Wells Fargo will have a float and we will walk in the San Francisco Lunar New Year Parade. WF has been a long-time supporter of this great event. This will be my 2nd time… I love this energetic happy parade.

I am so excited about a lion dance, I looked it up. There is a school in SF, we could learn more!  Here is the link.  Maybe they could be a SPEAKER at one of our Asian Connection events. This is so interesting. This is the ABOUT US – take a look!  There is more than one kind:

Traditional Lion dance

A great showcase of Southern Lion Dancing is our backbone. With props including crabs, scorpions, water pots, benches, and staggering tall wooden beams, the dancing lion comes alive to overcome these obstacles.

Flying Lion dance

The most modern and advanced movements in this art can be seen in this act.  Clambering over obstacles, leaping through the air and stepping across danger, this lion dance act is a must see.

Northern Lion Dance

Also known as the “Buk See” or northern lion, this dog-like dancing lion performs life like movements including acrobatic steps and jumps.

Walking in the San Francisco Lunar New Years Parade was exciting, we saw many “Lions” and also dozens of high school and college Marching Bands. There were gymnasts performing, local non-profits walking (many that we volunteer with!), even stilt walkers in the parade, many Lions and dozens of floats. It was a very happy time, children and adult spectators were cheering and clapping. We were cheering and clapping too.


Year of the Rooster! Good Luck and Auspicious Foods

Good Luck Here are  Auspicious Foods – There are many to enjoy!

Our team is enjoying learning, eating lucky foods, and we are having a Tea Party to celebrate Lunar New Year. We build our social skills and understanding of many cultures by celebrating our diverse work group.

  • Tangerines Mandarin oranges (AKA “cuties”) are said to bring wealth and good luck. That’s because the Chinese word for orange and gold sound similar, while the word for tangerine also sounds like the Chinese word for luck.
  • Long Noodles  The longer the noodle, the longer the life span, or so the belief goes.
  • Tray Of Togetherness During the holidays, it’s customary to both receive guests and pay visits to friends and families. The Tray of Togertherness is filled with snacks like
    • Candied fruit melons (growth and health)
    • Dried coconut (friendship and unity)
    • Kumquats (gold and prosperity)
    • Lotus seeds (fertility)
    • Longan (‘many sons’)
    • Guests will munch on these throughout their stay. The tray should have eight compartments, the Chinese number for good luck.
    • Nian Gao Made of glutinous rice flour, the sweet dessert is supposed to help the eater climb the social ladder as the Chinese word nian gao is a homonym for “higher year.”
    • Pomelo In Cantonese, the word pomelo sounds like the words ‘to have’ and means ‘continuous prosperity.’
    • Whole Fish The key to this dish is to serve the fish whole with head and tail intact to represent a good beginning and a good end for the coming year. Serving fish this way is also supposed to symbolize wealth, as the Chinese word for fish, ‘yu,’ sounds like the word for abundance.
    • Jiaozi While you don’t really need an excuse to tuck into a plate of Chinese dumplings, this dish is particularly traditional for the lunar New Year as the shape of the dumplings are said to resemble old ingot-shaped coins or yuanbao. As such, the dumplings are meant to bring eaters prosperity and wealth. It’s tradition to eat them at midnight on New Year’s eve, and hide a clean coin inside one of the dumplings.
    • Dried Oysters The Cantonese word for dried oysters sounds similar to good business.
    • Lion’s Head Meatballs A dish made of giant meatballs, wrapped in a mane of steamed cabbage, these lion head meatballs are said to represent power, strength and family unity
    • Lettuce Wraps In Cantonese, the word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune, which makes lettuce-wrapped foods popular at this time of year.

Events like this spur our creativity, help us come to know each other and create bonds that make our work environment happier. What can you do with your team?